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1998 Honda Civic Transmission Trouble

Hi. I’ve got a 1998 Green Honda Civic. 77,000 miles, most driven in “our fair city”. Transmission error code indicates that transmission is on its way out. I’m surprised (to say the least) that the transmission is failing with such low mileage. Needs a new alternator. What do folks here recommend? Repair for about $3000? Dealer will give me a about $500 for parts.

You don’t say whether your transmission is manual or automatic, so I’ll assume it’s automatic.

The automatic transmission in the 6th generation Civic (the one you have) is a weak link (prone to failure), and the Honda-recommended service intervals are based on both time and mileage, whichever comes first, so the best thing to do to maintain a transmission like this is to change the fluid every 30,000 miles, or every two years, whichever comes first. I am thinking you might not have been that fastidious about changing the transmission fluid, but even if you have, you might still have ended up with a dying transmission, despite your efforts, so don’t feel too bad.

My 1998 Civic (with manual transmission) has about 211,000 miles on the odometer, and I plan to keep it going until it reaches the 300,000 mile mark, so if your car is otherwise in good shape, I would bite the bullet and get a new or rebuilt transmission. However, make sure you aren’t buying a used transmission, since it might be on its last leg. Then, once you have the new or rebuilt transmission, since the weakness is in the design, get the fluid changed every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.

Honda’s Achilles heal are automatic transmissions.

However your Civic despite low miles has a hard life city driving. It is approaching 14 years old so no surprise there. Any maintenance along the way to it?

If you have not changed out the timing belt somewhere along the line add another $600 to the bill. Otherwise don’t bother fixing the transmission.

I would price shop a bit. If the price is a dealer you can drop the bill by upwards of 40%.

Before you do anything, get the code and post it here. It may not be as bad as the dealer infers. There is a guy here, transman318 that really knows his stuff on transmissions, but he will need that code to help you. The dealer should have given you the code and it might be listed on the paperwork he gave you.

One issue with these transmissions is the “throttle cable”. There are two throttle cables on this vehicle, one goes between the gas pedal and the throttle body, the other goes between the throttle body and the transmission. The first cable should have about an 1/8" slack in it. The second one, to the transmission should have no slack in it.

If you can move the bell crank on the throttle body and the bell crank on the transmission doesn’t move in sync, it lowers the pump pressure in the transmission and that can make it slip, especially when it shifts gears.

If you haven’t had the transmission fluid changed, have it done. Make sure that you only use the Honda transmission fluid. One more thing, make sure you use the Honda transmission fluid ONLY. Can’t say that enough. Use anything else and you are asking for trouble.

If you have never had the fluid changed, have it changed a second time within a week of the first change. Use only the Honda ATF.

What code is the computer putting out?? What exactly is the transmission doing?? What makes you think its on its way out??


Transman318 I have a 98 Civic ex auto it starts to shift hard and slip once engine is hot I’ve checked ohms with both sets of solenoids on tranny (ok) and trans oil smells fine codes are po700

Transman has not been on this site for sometime. Please start your own thread .